Support Jennie’s Chance to Dance
Help a poet/writer celebrate her 71st year with a trip to a major ballroom dance competition on the Big Island of Hawaii in January. By the numbers—I’ll be dancing almost 100 times over the course of three days in events that include 22 different dance styles.
I’ve been partner dancing with a passionate commitment since 2013. My dance story has been called “an inspiration” and my intention in attending the Hularama 2018 competition is to encourage others to “go for it” and live their dreams and passions to the hilt.
Cruising the ballroom floor in the arms of a partner has profoundly changed my body, my mind and my spirit. Dancing is a better anti-depressant than any pill! And studies show that dancing, more than many other physical activities, helps prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s, and slows the debilitating effects of other diseases like Parkinson’s.
I hope you’ll become one of my valued partners and donate to “Jennie’s Chance to Dance.” I promise an abundance of photos and a complete report when I return.
SHOWING MY APPRECIATION
As little as $5 will make you a cohort in this venture, but if you want to give more, here are the perks I can offer:
$25. A copy of my spoken word/music CD “Make Love Not War.”
$50. My CD plus… if you’re local, be my guest at an Arthur Murray Santa Rosa dance party (includes group lesson).
$100. My CD plus a personalized dance lesson
HOW I WILL USE THE MONEY
· hotel accommodations for 4 nights (we must stay at the hotel where the competition takes place)
· the opening luau and closing banquet/show
· dancing with professional partner almost 100 times over 3 days
· $45 per 88 heats (90 seconds each), special 4-dance competition @ $200, and solo couple routine @ $200.
Note: Total cost is actually $10,200. I’ve already received donations to cover airfare and ground transportation.
· Age category: 70-79 Level: Full Bronze and Associate Silver
· Partner: my teacher Zach Crawford
All events are professional/amateur except for amateur couples.
· Dance Styles
[American] Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, Cha Cha, Rumba, Swing, Bolero Mambo, Hustle, Samba
[International] Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Rumba, Jive (two heats each)
[Specialty] Argentine Tango, West Coast Swing, Salsa, Bachata
Some people have reported not getting my updates on GoFundMe, so I hope you get this. Following are links to videos I've posted, and my blog entry from last week describing my "Dream Come True" dance adventure. Please tell me if there is anything more I can do to thank you for your support of my campaign.
LIVING A DREAM.
Seven months ago, I asked my community to help pay for my participation in a ballroom dance competition on the Big Island of Hawaii from January 24-28. More than 60 people supported Jennie's Chance to Dance with money and services, and the campaign has generated $3,291 to date—more than 40% of the cost. This delighted and surprised me.
But what surprised me even more was how the Hularama 2018 experience exceeded my imagining of how good it could be. My intention to remain calm and confident during the “heats” (90-second dance performances) was fulfilled. I did not suffer dry-mouth nervousness, but only a sense of anticipation and excitement. I was able to “will those all those stomach butterflies to fly in formation” —as a spoken word artist I know described it. And in the Full Bronze All Around medal competition, Zach and I placed 4th—quite respectable considering the talented dancers on the floor with us.
I succeeded in my other intention: to meet and dance with as many new people as possible. If I saw a leader who inspired me, whether amateur or pro, I asked him to dance. In turn, I was asked to dance by cohorts from other Arthur Murray Bay Area studios, and a wonderful gentleman from Osaka, Japan, whose extraordinary mixed-age team occupied the table next to ours. I think my tally of outreach dances numbered about 15, definitely a record!
The camaraderie I enjoyed with our Santa Rosa contingent—students, instructors and support staff—was doubly poignant since it was my last opportunity to spend quality time with my teachers for over 5 years, Zach and Julie Marie Crawford. The couple has moved on to a new studio and new life together at Arthur Murray Albuquerque. In my goodbye to Zach, I said, “Thank you for changing my life.” He replied, “Thank you for being open to it.”
I also danced with my current beloved dance instructor Rafael Candelas whose talents and great patience prod me to achieve.
At the Hularama 2018 event, I enjoyed formal dinners, an evening of student solos, club dance competitions and professional comps that were nothing short of awe-inspiring. The Friday night luau, with its world-champion fire dancer and bottomless Mai-Tais and Blue Lavas, unfolded in tropical warmth that was not just weather, but also the expressed affection of a dance community that has embraced me for who I am. On that occasion, under the almost full moon, I said out-loud, “I am right now living my dream!!”
This Dream-Come-True awareness stayed with me throughout the dance competition and into the following vacation week on Maui. With two of my oldest and dearest friends, I spent hours lazing on Kihei beaches, eating great food, drinking locally-brewed beer, enjoying art exhibits and conversation. A whale-watch cruise blessed with an array of waving flukes, breaching, and fin slapping by a pod of frisky humpbacks topped off my charmed trip.
I had planned for, visualized, saved and trained for this Hawaiian adventure for two years and pitched it to others as a once-in-a-lifetime event. And while I continue to savor and “bask in the afterglow” through telling stories and sorting my photographs, there is a fanned flame inside me persistently burning: what’s next?
The Hilton Waikoloa Village had the most amazing collection of art: outdoor and indoor sculptures and ceramics the likes of which I'd never seen, plus of course paintings and carvings all along the walkway we took each day to the ballroom. I tried on a few dresses just to dream, but who knows. This dream came true.... I hope the photos and videos of the competition will inspire you or anyone you share with to continue to support me. The credit card bills will be coming due!! But let me say, this was ABSOLUTELY worth every penny. (except for those skimpy box lunches from the hotel). The luau entertainment was the best even the most seasoned of our group had ever seen. More later...